books I can’t stop thinking about: non-fiction, #1.

If you haven’t noticed, things have been somewhat quiet around here. And for good reason: I’m doing my own little nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), and gave myself a self-imposed deadline of November 30th to finally finish my manuscript. I finally passed the 50,000 word mark this weekend – huzzah, huzzah! – with quotes from Leonard Cohen, the Apostle Paul, Charles Dickens and Melanie DaleThe end is in sight! Whether or not my words actually end up in your hands someday is still to be determined, but for now there is a story to tell.

Meanwhile, because I’ve also found myself engrossed in stacks of books, quoting left and right because their words make me tell the story even better, there have been books I can’t get off my mind.

So, over the next two weeks, on Mondays and Thursdays, you’ll have four installments of “Books I Can’t Stop Thinking About: Non-Fiction, Young Adult, Christian/Spiritual Memoir and Fiction.” They’re all books I’ve read in the past year, and they’re all (obviously) books I’d love for you to read as well.

Without, further adieu, let us commence installment #1, Non-Fiction:


(1) The Whole-Brain Child (Daniel Siegal & Tina Payne Bryson, 2011): This is hands-down the best parenting book I’ve ever read. It just makes sense. My three-year-old is not throwing a temper tantrum to rile up my insides, but because he’s growing developmentally. He needs me not to dismiss him, but to meet him where he’s at in his little life. It was just as a book should be: easy to read, short from cover to cover, and brilliantly profound, all at the same time.

(2) Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson, 2014): Seriously. I’ve said it before (like  here and here), but I’ll say it again: READ THIS BOOK. I am passionate about issues of racial justice because I’m passionate – in general – about human beings, but this made me understand the need for justice on a whole new level. This may very well be the best (and most important!) book I’ve read this year.

(3) Tiny Beautiful Things (Cheryl Strayed, 2012): Now, first of all, this book is not for everybody. I didn’t agree with all of Strayed’s advice myself, but isn’t the point of an individual handing out her advice? However, she’s a story weaver, and some of the answers she gave to various readers HANDS-DOWN have stayed with me and imprinted on my mind. So, in that way, twelve thumbs up.

(4) The Boys in the Boat (Daniel James Brown, 2013): We shall now label this book “The Book Cara Judged By Its Cover Because the Title Contained the Words ‘Boys’ and Boats’,” two words that wouldn’t usually draw me in on first glance. But y’all, it is not only a phenomenal story in and of itself, but it’s well-written and it gives you a slice of history at the same time. Bonus: if you’ve spent any time in the Bay Area or the greater Seattle area, like I have, you will delight in knowing right where the story takes place.

So, that’s it for today. Be sure to check back in on Thursday for “Books I Can’t Stop Thinking About: Young Adult.”

xo, c.

So, what would you add to the list? What are some of the best non-fiction books you’ve read this year? Do tell, do tell! 

*Post contains Amazon Affiliate Links, y’all!

2 thoughts on “books I can’t stop thinking about: non-fiction, #1.

  1. Best non-fiction this year? Does that include memoirs or is that a separate genre? If we’re not counting memoir I’d say BBT’s An Altar in the World (not exactly memoir), Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic, and Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons From the Crematorium. Oh, and Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection.

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